Nestled in the lush forests surrounding Larkspur, Colorado, this family home seems like the idyllic picture of farmhouse living from the outside. But inside the newly built dwelling, agrarian style meets a sophisticated aesthetic for a fresh hybrid look.
The initial vision for the design came from the wife. “I had this picture of a farmhouse, but with a classy spin,” she explains. “I wanted a home that’s comfortable, but also elegant.” To create it, the homeowners assembled a design team composed of architect Karen Sund, designer Gina D’Amore Bauerle and general contractor Kent Lersch. For the more glamorous features of the home, she found that Bauerle was an enthusiastic ally. “On a personal level, I love anything that sparkles,” notes the designer. “And it’s a pleasure when I find a client who feels the same.”
Although Sund embraced a subtle farmhouse look for the architecture both inside and out, her work is a mix in its own right, merging the board-and-batten siding of the genuine American farmhouse with romantic stonework that harkens to Tuscan country villas. This is especially true for the home’s entry, where the architect created a grand entrance similar to the ones found on the large Italian stone homes the wife admires.
Inside, large windows and soaring ceilings (including a lofty 24-foot-high expanse in the kitchen) provided room for styles to mix and mingle. “We incorporated glam elements while staying true to the style of the home,” notes Bauerle.
The process continued by marrying rustic farmhouse details to more polished finishes. Rugged notes are provided by the dark-stained trusses and beams that span the ceilings, sliding barn doors and gray-washed reclaimed flooring used throughout the home. Echoing notes from the exterior façade, Sund incorporated stone inside to add architectural heft to the main floor. Bauerle brought dazzle through elements such as the home’s showpiece fireplaces. In the master bedroom, for example, she used quartz wedge, which “at certain times of the day makes the whole room sparkle.” For the statuesque fireplace in the kitchen, the designer combined natural marble tile with glitter grout—a subtle accent she says gives it an elevated look.
The kitchen itself became the home’s grand treatise for infusing more allure into countryside living, starting with the walls clad entirely in classic farmhouse shiplap. “The builder looked at me like I was a special kind of unicorn when I told him I wanted to cover the whole room with the paneling,” laughs the designer. But the fresh white backdrop provides the perfect foil for the glossy black cabinetry by Tharp Custom Cabinetry and brass hardware the wife desired. The grand finale, however, came courtesy of the vintage-inspired Italian range and towering vent hood custom made by Raw Urth Designs, a fine metal fabricator in Fort Collins. Bauerle says the grand scale of the fixture “was the anchor the space needed to ground everything.” It’s this type of singular piece that gives Bauerle personal delight to source, drawing on a list of artisans and vendors she’s been amassing while operating D’Amore Interiors, the showroom established 40 years ago by her parents Frank and Marilyn D’Amore.
Finding plush upholstery proved key in satisfying the home’s luxury quotient, from the family sectional in the great room to the velvet sofa in the wife’s favorite shade of fuchsia for her office. She was not afraid of these bold strokes of color, and the designer was only too happy to oblige, especially in more private, personal spaces like the dark gray master bedroom and the teal library bejeweled with crystal hardware and gold-bound books.
“I also have a thing for beautiful, unique lights,” confesses the wife, a feeling that challenged the designer to create bespoke fixtures, many of which are chandeliers with a textured, almost industrial edge that fuse delicate crystals with dark metal accents. “It’s not every day we can install these kinds of fixtures, but this was just the right house for them,” says Bauerle. “And these are the dreamiest lights. They are straight out of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. ”
The designer’s and wife’s shared affinity for such details caused the pair to forge a style kinship throughout the experience. “She so clearly put her heart and soul into this,” says the wife of Bauerle’s work. “I just provided the visions of what I wanted, and she found the perfect things that were funky and unique—we were really the perfect team.”